The Grenada Government of Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell is taking steps to ensure that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and other charitable organisations disclose their financing to the State.
The move by the New National Party (NNP) administration of Dr. Mitchell could have serious impact on local political parties, churches, youth groups and advocacy organisations including the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG).
Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, Works Minister, Gregory Bowen last week Friday, tabled the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which seeks to amend the Companies Act, Cap. 58A to reflect the dictates of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which Grenada is committed to implement by virtue of its membership in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.
The senior government minister told Parliament that implementing the legislations are necessary to combat money laundering and the use of other avenues that provide for the “washing” of illegally obtained money by terrorists.
According to Minister Bowen, there are some entities that are guilty of engaging in laundering activities and as such Grenada has to play its role to guard against those activities.
“There is growing evidence in the world which points to the fact that non-government and charitable organisations are used by terrorists organisations, drug dealers and others involved in money laundering, to channel their money through these entities,” he said,
“We in Grenada have to do what is necessary to combat the situation, and to ensure that legislation is in place to stop not for profit companies from becoming victims of these criminal actions”, he added.
Over the years, there have been reports of some of the major political parties in Grenada getting monies in cash from drug barons to help finance their campaigns in general elections.
When the legislation becomes law, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and other charitable organisations would be mandated to file financial statements at the Registrar of the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) within 15 days of holding an annual general meeting.
The law states what where an entity is suspected of committing an offence under the Terrorism Act No. 16 of 2012, the Attorney General is empowered to examine and inquire into the affairs of that body.
Anyone who fails to comply could be fined $10,000.00 or face six months imprisonment or both and to a further fine of $500.00 for every day that the offence continues after a conviction is first obtained.
In addition, NGO’s and other charitable organisations would be mandated to submit annual financial statements showing the assets and liabilities of the company, the revenue and expenditure since the date of incorporation, and the names of donors in cases where a donation exceeds $5,000.00.